Mara in Monochrome

Marlon duToit All Authors, Marlon 2 Comments

Few places in Africa inspire photographers as much as the great plains as the Masai Mara do. They travel from far & abroad to experience the masses of wildlife, to witness incredible events in nature on a scale larger than life.

I wanted to celebrate this incredible place with you in monochrome, stripping away all detail, all things that don’t add to the story.

There are a million and one reasons to travel and experience what the Masai Mara has to offer. Here are but a few…


An impressive male lion stands tall after dominating a lioness within his pride. There are no scrubby thorn bushes or shrubs to damage his mane, and as a result he is in splendid condition.


Black rhino are always a delight. They are mostly very skittish and shy, and their numbers are very low making them tough to find. On the open plains of the Mara the small population are easy to spot when out in the open, and this sets the scene for stunning photography.


Several large termite mounds are spread across the Mara Triangle. The lions love these as early morning posts from where they gain a great view of the surrounding landscape. Pick the right back drop and you have the potential for great imagery.


Cheetah are completely at home on the plains of the Mara. Mothers have a far better chance to raise their cubs to adulthood here than anywhere else due to the fact that it’s open and few predators can easily surprise her family.


Male lions are incredible animals! The lions in the Mara always seem to be in incredible condition. Here a male tests the scent of a female by utilizing a specialized organ at the top of his palate.


This was an early morning scene just out of our camp on the banks of the Mara. He was incredibly striking as he lay there watching the run rising to the East. A light breeze whipped through his mane as he lay scouring his territory. CG0T0347

Once again the termites came into great use. These lions absolutely love getting out of the warm grasses and onto these mounds. There’s usually a slight breeze and up on the mounds they take full advantage of this.


Images such as this tell you why the Mara is such a special place for wildlife photography, especially the big cats. Once they step on to higher ground there’s no distractions in your frame, no twigs, leaves or branches in the background.


If you enjoy panning along with your subjects there’s few places as good as the Mara to do this. Wildebeest pour past you by the thousands giving you ample time to get it just right! Cloudy days also set you up for some great tones across the images!


A stunning male lion in pursuit of a lioness in estrus. Again the lack of distracting vegetation allows for fantastic panning photography!


I captured this stunning moody images from our Wild Eye mobile camp on the banks of the Mara. I will also add that I had an ice-cold G&T in hand, not too bad for a days work. The texture of the embankment adds tremendously to the shot, captured just as the rain started to fall and the sun setting to the West.


An aggressive male lion known as Scarface in a striking posture. What more could you ask for?

So as you can see, few places in Africa offer you the opportunity to capture your subjects in monochrome as strikingly as the Masai Mara does. It is almost made easy!

Do get in touch with us if you to would like to join us on safari in this incredible wilderness in 2016!

Till next time,

About the Author

Marlon duToit

Passion, enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst to explore and introduce you to our natural world’s wildlife perfectly sums up my ambitions. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Through my African adventures I kept my photographic passion alive. Behind a camera aimed at a lion or a leopard is where I am most at home, my heart skipping a beat at the mere thought of it. My intention has never been solely for recognition but for the plight of what’s left of our natural recourses. Using my love and understanding of wildlife I am able to convey to the viewer more than an image or a fleeting moment. I aim to tell a story, to bring that moment alive to you and to capture your heart through it.

Comments 2

  1. Martha Myers

    What a wonderful blog, Marlon. My favorites were your panning of the lion and, of course, Scarface [with his tail just so]. And those cheetah cubs. Oh, my! Thank you!

  2. Jens

    Black and White photos of the animals of Africa has always had a stronger impact on me than color. I don´t know why. And your is like getting a kick in they eye. Thank you!

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